Just wondering if any of you moms had births at home with your first babies, and if so, did you have a waterbirth?
I had intended on delivering at our nearby midwifery center, but because of their affiliation with a hospital, they require 20 min. of initial fetal monitoring, no videotaping during delivery, and NO waterbirths for first-time moms. Per the midwife at the center, the reason for the prohibition of waterbirths for primigravids was "First-time moms push for an average of 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and we can't sit up to our armpits in water waiting for that long." She is otherwise an extremely kind woman, and honestly, I can understand her point.
Now, I may get into the heat of labor and decide that I can't stand the mere sight of water, but I still just want to have that CHOICE. Therefore, I'm thinking of a homebirth now. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Hi Katie. I had a homebirth for my first baby and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it if you have a healthy, normal pregnancy. It was the experience of my life, and I wouldn't have done it any other way. You can't predict how you are going to feel in labor, and being in the comfort of your own home is the best thing I think you can do to ensure a safe, happy, relaxing birth. I guess the most important thing, is that at home you can feel completely uninhibited--that is really important!!! For example, I never would have guessed it, but I was very vocal and loud during my labor, and in a hospital I probably would have felt like I had to be quiet. You really need to be able to feel like you can let it all go, be naked, screaming, let bodily functions go, whatever. I thought I was going to want a water birth, but it ended up that the only way I could feel in control and push well was on my bed on all fours. My pushing stage only lasted 30 minutes, and it was not at all the most painful part of the experience, but I was the loudest at that point--the only way I could push my baby out was to scream at the very top of my lungs. I can't imagine doing that in the hospital!! Good luck, and I hope you have a happy birth whatever you decide to do.
I'm due in March 2010 and I am planning a homebirth - this will be my first birthing experience. The midwife I began with was not very encouraging of homebirth for a first-time mom, but she really didn't get specific as to why she didn't recommend it, and I didn't press her. After she told me that she does not do many homebirths, I decided to look elsewhere.
Yesterday I met a local midwife who also has an excellent reputation, who does do a lot of homebirth and doesn't see any reason why I can't give birth at home. I will also definitely be trying to birth in the water. I have no idea if the big moment will actually happen in the tub or if I will be more comfortable squatting or in some other position, but my plan is to try to labor and birth in the water.
It is amazing how much our care givers can influence us! After talking with the first midwife, I was so discouraged, and felt that my only option would be the birth center. Then after talking with someone who actually does homebirth all the time, I felt encouraged and confident once more, that I *can* give birth at home if I choose. :)
HI, I had my first birth 3 months ago and it was a waterbirth. Now looking back I would do it exactly the same way again since it was so ideal! I too was confused about what I would want since it was my first time. My labor was pretty short for first time (about 8 hours) but intense since my water broke. The hardest part for me was finding a comfortable position, all I wanted to do was lay down and nap for 30 min all through labor. I didn't like the water at first because it made me too hot, but it was a godsend at the end of labor! I had no tearing and not too much pain towards the end and felt my recovery time was so much shorter than others. I totally recommend waterbirth and homebirth...waking up the next morning in your own bed with the new baby is SO SURREAL! Good luck and just remember you were made to give birth, try to block out the fears (nature is awesome!) and don't have any regrets. :)
Hello,

I just saw this posting today. My first (and only) baby was a waterbirth at home. I pushed for 3 hours but not all in the tub. I was in the tub for around 4 hrs when I felt the urge and began to push. After doing that for a while, I moved onto the toilet for a bit and then into my bed, generally using the side lying position. After 3 hrs, my husband said, "we need to use gravity" and we went back to the tub where he held me as I dangled and Liam was born 5 mins later. My midwife was with me for the 4 straight hrs I was in the tub and she didn't have her "armpits in water" the whole time. She would check me occasionally with the doppler or do a vaginal exam (only had 3 the whole time so it wasn't frequent) but other than that she was dry.

You could mention this and ask why she would need to be up to her "armpits in the water for that long" if it's only required for vaginal exams and fetal monitoring. Just a thought...
I'm having my third child at home in April 2010 and this will be my first HB. My other two were unmedicated but in a hospital. Here's my 2 cents for what they're worth. :) With my first I pushed exactly 3 times for maybe 10 min, my second was about a pound bigger, but I didn't push any longer. I think that what your midwife said reads as "Your choice to deliver in water may "inconvenience" me, and for that I am refusing it." I would find someone else to assist in your delivery who is supportive of what you are feeling and needing at any given point during your birthing. This is your body, your baby, and your experience.

You might push for 3 minutes, and you might push for 3 hours, regardless, allowing your body to lead you down whatever path you are meant to follow(as long as it's a healthy one) should be encouraged and supported. Since you have time, do some research and seek out a person that you and your husband are excited about. I'd like to take my midwife home with me. :) I know she's the right choice for us. I hope you find the same!
I had my first baby at home and in water. I never thought I would have a water birth, never even imagined it. But I had some extra money in the Flex Spending Account and needed to spend it. Now, I would not have it any other way. I got one that was the shape of an octogon (about 5 ft in diameter and almost 3 ft deep) with hard walls you could weight on. Also, it had a heater. I was pushing for 4 hours (not hard, didn't want to tear) and was only comfortable on my knees leaning forward. So I was in the tub with my arms over the edge and my head on my husbands lap. He was on the couch. Everyone else sat on chairs. I was glad I got extra padding under the tube so my knees didn't hurt. This position would have been really hard to keep out of water since the water gives you buoyancy. You can also float.

As for my midwife, she was never in the pool, even when I finally had the baby so I'm confused about your midwife's concern. I turned when the baby came out with my belly up, the midwife helped to catch the baby and then put her on my chest. She checked the fetal heartbeat under water but that was a perioudic check with just her arm in the water.

The water was a nice way to stay warm when naked for so long and not feel all the weight of your body. Totally worth it.
I had a home birth, and pushed for about a half hour.

Although I was planning the home birth and my home birth midwife came to my house to check up on me, I also went to a near by hospital for check ups during my entire pregnancy to compare/contrast the differences between my treatment.

There were several "midwives" (I don't even want to call them that - they were more like OBs) on staff. Each visit, I got a new one. When it came down to the wire (4 weeks from my due date) I filled out and signed a waterbirth request form. The next time I went in, the midwife "caring" for me that day said I could labor in the tub, but that she didn't perform waterbirths, so when it was time to push, I'd have to get out.

My fiance and I looked at each other in disbelief...like 'what???'

Her reason: she was old and it was hard on her back. Oh and she had some health condition and didn't want her bare skin to come in contact with the baby underwater or some weird thing like that...I can't remember what she had. Maybe I've blocked it out.

She went on to say 11 of the 17 midwives at _________ Women's Services didn't do waterbirths, so I'd have to keep an open mind about that.

When my fiance went on to ask her if there were any other positions that I should reconsider birthing in (mentally prepare for) she said..."yeah, I dont' really like receiving babies when the mother is on her hands and knees. Or squatting. Laying down on the back is best for me and for the mother and child."

HA! Yeah right! Needless to say I was so so so happy with my choice to birth at home after that prenatal visit.

While I didn't end up birthing in the tub, I surely could have. I relaxed in it a lot and it really helped ease the intensity of my contractions. Enough so at one point that I actually slept in there for a while.

In the end, it was the ability to make my OWN choice meant so much.

Hope this helps!
Kaitlin
I had my first child at home, but I did not have a water birth. I pushed for 1 hour and 8 minutes and was on my hands and knees. I wanted one with my second child, but she came too fast. My husband and mom did not have time to get the birthing pool ready before I was ready to deliver. I pushed for 20 minutes with my second on a birthing stool and she was born breech.

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